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2023 KTM Super Adventure S test ride


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On the first day of the Rendezvous, KTM was doing test rides of their fleet.  I booked a test ride on the new 1290 Super Adventure S, and was kind of prepared to fall in love, trade in both my Tenere and Tracer, and sign my soul to the gods of Orange.




In a word, I'd describe the experience as... Disappointing.


Which boggles my mind, really, with how much their talked up.


I mean, don't get me wrong.  It's a marvelous machine and has an utterly unreal technology package.  The adaptive cruise control is remarkably good, the fully electronic suspension is absolutely outatanding (even with my 300lb ass in the saddle), but it suffered from the same problem I've talked about when comparing the CP2 and CP3 engines.  It's smooth, has good power, but it's so big (particularly HUGELY wide) that really having fun with it requires really high speeds, and never really feels raucous and fun at low speed.  


Maybe controversial, I understand that. Everyone has their own tastes, and obviously they're popular.  While I wasn't able to take it offroad (and it had street tires on, being the S) I didn't really have any desire to try.  The width and weight... Oof.  I'm sure the electronics help, but I can't imagine picking the 1290 over an 890 if you're doing a thing 


Also, and YMMV, but I distinctly didn't like the sound.  I assume an aftermarket exhaust could save 20lbs and help there, though, vtwins tend to sound pretty good as a rule of thumb.


Even purely as a sport tourer... I honestly like my Tracer more.  I'd take the adaptive cruise over my stock CC of course, and again much more agile, spunky, more flexible and comfortable seating position.  Maybe if two up + lots of gear is important to you, but that's not me. 


Eh.  It's a really excellent bike for some, but it's definitely not the bike for me.


And seriously, it was so wide, it was *immediately* uncomfortable, like more than double the T7's width. 

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the bikes we have to choose from, are all so damn good, almost like splitting hair: great vs super-great, right?

And then the T7 ticks so many boxes. I'm not not looking around, that's for sure

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If you removed all the bodywork and had a pretty tank and headlight assembly it would make a cool street bike. Or add some rear bodywork to blend in with the front. Movie bike.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And have a car and trailer follow you wherever you go, ready for the inevitable breakdown.

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i had a tracer 9gt just before my Tenere and it was an awesome machine. CP3 is a beast however i found myself bombarding it on tours and just moving too fast for my liking fully loaded at speeds upto 115-120 mph just cause i could. The lack of offroad capability meant it had to go and to be honest 8 months down the line i dont miss any of my previous bikes, not even the R1200GSA. as mentioned the T7 ticks all the boxes (am an electronicophobe) and i know for a fact i will never supersede the T7's abilities as a rider, hence it's more than enough for me.  

Anybody can go fast in a straight line....

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